Zali

MEDIA RELEASE: NDIS is creating age discrimination

3 December, 2019

Chris English was enjoying his 69th birthday with his family when he suddenly fainted, causing him to fall face-first down three stairs and hit the concrete. His injuries were so severe he became a quadriplegic.

Had Chris English been aged 64 when the freak accident happened, he would have been placed immediately onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme and offered up to $300,000 in support. But being over 65 meant Chris was no longer eligible for NDIS and placed on the Aged Care Service where he was offered just over $50,000 in help – a sixth of what he could have been on under NDIS.

Independent for Warringah Zali Steggall MP will present two petitions today on behalf of Chris English, and his wife Bobbie, calling on the Federal Government to eliminate age discrimination of older people with a disability.

“When I have brought this discrepancy to the attention of the Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck I am passed onto the Minister for NDIS Stuart Robert, who passes me back to the Minister for Aged Care. The buck passing needs to stop.”

Uner the current system, if you are aged over 65 and have not had access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, you cannot access the NDIS even if you are involved in an accident.

“I am calling on either an exemption for people aged over 65 who have an accident or illness to be supported under NDIS or for My Aged Care to better cater for those with a disability unrelated to ageing.”

The petitions, signed by 19,446 people, are supported by Rebekha Sharkie, Centre Alliance Federal Member for Mayo and Dr Helen Haines, Independent member for Indi.  

“The NDIS was established to address the inequitable, underfunded and fragmented disability care system,” Rebekha said.

“But we need to be wary of setting up a system that so openly discriminates against those who acquire a disability after they reach retirement age.”

“If this Government believes Australians are fit and able enough to work long after the age of 65, then the Government should acknowledge that Australians over the age of 65 should have the same access to resources if they acquire a disability later in life.”

 

WORDING FOR PETITIONS

 

Petition EN1113 (electronic) 5,426 signatures

Petition Reason: We draw to the attention of the House that legislative changes are required to eliminate discrimination of older people with a disability. Older people are unable to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) after the age of 65. The maximum aged care Government subsidy of $50,250 per annum is insufficient for people who have extensive care needs, such as people who have quadriplegia. Regardless of age, people over the age of 65 with a disability should be entitled to access NDIS benefits to support them in receiving the care they require.
Petition Request: We therefore ask the House to: Change the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 to enable people over the age of 65 with a disability to access NDIS benefits.

 

Petition PN0442 (paper) 14,020 signatures

Reasons: This petition by the citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House that legislative changes are required to eliminate discrimination of older people with a disability. Older people are unable to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) after the age of 65. The maximum aged care Government subsidy of $49,000* per annum is insufficient for people who have extensive care needs, such as people who have quadriplegia. Regardless of age, people over the age of 65 with a disability should be entitled to access NDIS benefits to support them in receiving the care they require. ·

Request: We therefore ask the House to: Change the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 to enable people over the age of 65 with a disability to access NDIS benefits.

 

*When the paper petition was introduced in March the subsidy was $49,000. As at December 2019, the subsidy is now $50,250 per the electronic petition.